Have you ever dreamed about making a career change? Doing a 180 and going in a completely different direction? Karen Callies did exactly that when she left her job as a sales and marketing rep with the Sarnia Journal and purchased Sarnia’s About Face & Body Laser & Wellness Clinic in January of 2019. “I was looking for something new and the opportunity came about so I seized the day,” Karen says.
Indeed she did. As the owner and director of operations at About Face, Karen immediately noticed a huge change in her day-to-day activities. “It was a culture shock. I had no previous experience in this line of work, and I was used to being in my car a lot because I was in sales. It took some time to get used to being at the Clinic most days.”
About Face has been in business for 35 years and offers plenty of services; from Body, Nail and Hair Treatments to Skin Rejuvenation, Twinlight Laser Treatment, Body Contouring, Injectables and Skin Resurfacing. “I had to learn about the treatments and the product when I took over the business. Fortunately, the previous owner was very good with helping me make this transition.”
With the help of a dedicated staff of seven (plus a doctor and nurse on contract), Karen and her team have continued to offer services, even through the COVID pandemic. “I certainly was scared at the beginning of COVID, but my husband told me not to worry and that everything would be okay. I also have a business coach, Kathleen Mundy, who helped me navigate my way through it all.”
Although operating About Face has its challenges, Karen says being the owner has its perks as well. “I love the satisfaction of knowing that I am accomplishing running a business on my own.” Karen was once advised that when it comes to running a business, the highs are higher and the lows are lower. “I always kept that in mind because the highs and lows of running a business affect you personally more so than being an employee. There are days when it is all sunshine and roses and there are other days when it is all doom and gloom. But I wouldn’t change any of it.”
Aside from running About Face, Karen has a deep sense of community. “I am involved in a lot of different events and charities because I think it is important to give back.” Her charity, Couture for the Cure, sponsors different charities from time to time, and this year worked with the Sarnia-Lambton Alzheimer Society to host a Kentucky Derby- themed party. “At About Face I want to offer incredible services to this community, and that also means being an active participant.”